The UFC is still a few weeks away from the first leg of the casting process for the Ultimate Fighter 18 but coach Ronda Rousey has already started formulating her approach to heading one of the season’s two teams. Though she won’t know what specific areas to work on until taping begins Rousey is hoping to impart some wisdom early on relating to public perception.
“I am definitely going to have a long talk with my team and let them know how they compose themselves here in the house will be the first impression anybody will have of them,” explained Rousey to FoxSports. “This is the beginning of their MMA fighting careers. This isn’t just some reality thing. It is one of the toughest things in MMA. It’s a tournament and training camp. If they compose themselves like they’re on Jersey Shore or the Real World, that’s the opinion the fans are going to have of them from then on. If you become a UFC champ later, you are still going to be known as the person screwing around in the house.”
Rousey knows a thing or two about how behavior can influence fans given her own rise to prominence over the last two years, drawing in the masses with her wit and honesty while holding their interest due to athletic ability. And, longtime viewers of TUF know the difference between a hard-working, hungry fighter and those who just “want to bang, bro.” As such, when the process is completed, Rousey hopes to have introduced the world to a new crop of talent, many of whom will be female fighters.
“I have to kind of take a lot of the work now and try to get exposure for women’s MMA. For me, taking this project is one more thing I can do so I don’t have to do all the work later and risk (over) exposure,” admitted Rousey of her vested interest in seeing other women succeed. “I don’t want all this to be dependent on me.”
TUF 18 will feature two co-ed teams with the entire lot of contestants living together. Opposing Rousey on the show will either be unbeaten finisher Cat Zingano or rival Miesha Tate depending on how their April 27 tilt turns out.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE/UFC